Susan RoAne Shares One of “The Secrets of Savvy Networking”string(71) "Susan RoAne Shares One of “The Secrets of Savvy Networking”"

When it comes to networking, we’ve all unfortunately encountered people who believe that the simple act of meeting another person entitles them to ask that other person to share their contacts with them in order to try to drum up more referrals.

In this video, Susan RoAne, my good friend and an international networking expert who consistently puts out some of the most outstanding content on networking around, explains why anybody who believes that networking is an “entitlement program” (i.e., the type of people who meet you once and think you should share your contacts with them) is completely off track and will never get any referrals while operating under that perception.

The concept that networking is an “enrichment program” as opposed to an “entitlement program” is one of the fresh, powerhouse ideas unique to Susan’s latest book The Secrets of Savvy Networking.  I highly encourage you to go to www.SecretsOfSavvyNetworking.com to learn about the book and/or visit www.SusanRoAne.com for more information about Susan Roane.

Share your feedback on Susan’s content and/or your thoughts about this video in general in the comments section–we’d love to hear from you!

Entrepreneurial DNAstring(19) "Entrepreneurial DNA"

One of the reasons I am so endlessly passionate about business networking and finding new ways to inspire the growth of businesses around the world is because I absolutely love surrounding myself with people who exude the entrepreneurial spirit.

As children, we have the sense that “the world is our oyster,” so to speak, and that anything is possible.  Unfortunately, over time, many people lose this sense of wonder and adventure and the accompanying faith that anything is possible.  Entrepreneurs, however, never lose this open-minded outlook about opportunities and possibilities and we have a constant desire to make a unique mark on the world.  This is why I am continuously inspired by the entrepreneurs I meet in my travels across the globe and why I will continue to focus much of my effort on encouraging and supporting entrepreneurial enterprise in much of what I speak about and write about.

So, when I recently read a book called Entrepreneurial DNA written by Joe Abraham, Founder of the BOSI Performance Institute, and realized what a powerful tool it is for entrepreneurs, I couldn’t wait to share it.  I was so impressed by the content that I endorsed it as the ultimate roadmap to building a thriving business and life as an entrepreneur.  I would like to encourage entrepreneurs in every part of the world to read this book because I believe it offers tools to optimize your entrepreneurial business endeavors that you won’t find anywhere else.

Joe has outlined a breakthrough entrepreneurial profiling system called the BOSI system which empowers entrepreneurs to align their business to their unique strengths because, clearly, all entrepreneurs are not the same.  As the inside cover of Entrepreneurial DNA states:

Entrepreneurial DNA proves the simple but critical fact that not all entrepreneurs are cut from the same cloth.  After all, nobody would put Donald Trump, a multilevel marketer, and the owner of a local pizza parlor in the same category.  Everyone possesses unique entrepreneurial “DNA”–and discovering yours is the critical first step to success.

To help you build a successful business or optimize results within your current business, serial entrepreneur and business strategist Joe Abraham has developed the BOSI system–a simple, structured process for determining your own entrepreneurial tendencies, strengths, and growth areas.  With the BOSI system, you can create a strategic plan mapped to your entrepreneurial DNA that will improve all aspects of your business and leadership journey. (The) system provides four entrepreneurial categories that people fall into.  Which type of entrepreneur are you?

Builder:  Strategic, always looking for the upper hand
Talent: creating scalable business ventures

Opportunist:  Speculative, always in the right place at the right time
Talent: making money fast

Specialist: Focused, in it for the long term
Talent: providing exceptional client service

Innovator:  Inventive, with a desire to make an impact
Talent: creating game-changing products

If you are an entrepreneur, you owe it to yourself and your business to read this book–you’ll thank me later. 🙂

To learn more about Entrepreneurial DNA, CLICK HERE.

To order the book through Amazon, CLICK HERE.

To order the book through Barnes and Noble, CLICK HERE.

The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret–4th Edition

The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret–4th Editionstring(63) "The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret–4th Edition"

The first edition of my book The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, which details how to build business by referral, was released back in 1994 and went on to become an international bestseller.  I am excited to announce that the 4th edition of the book was just published and my co-author Mike Macedonio and I have substantially rewritten the book and added a significant amount of information.

Here is just a brief sample of what is outlined in the new book:

  • The best way to grow your business
  • Referrals and referral marketing, networking, word of mouth, buzz, and viral marketing
  • Networking vs. direct prospecting
  • Communicating your brand
  • Making your network stronger
  • Fifteen ways to promote
  • Forecasting sales from referrals
  • Tracking and evaluating results
  • And much, much more . . .

If you’ve read any of the other editions of The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, I invite you to leave a comment here letting me know what some of your top takeaways from the book were; and, of course, if you’ve had the opportunity to read an advance copy of the 4th edition of the book, I would absolutely love it if you would leave a comment about what you think of it!

The new 4th edition is not yet available on Amazon but you can get an advance copy of the book now by CLICKING HERE.

The Power of a Rolodex–What’s Your Story?string(53) "The Power of a Rolodex–What’s Your Story?"

Hazel Walker (pictured below) is not only one of my Business Networking and Sex co-authors and one of my business partners in both BNI and the Referral Institute, she is also the author of the great article below about the importance of remembering that you never know who might be in someone’s Rolodex. As Hazel explains, assuming for any reason that somebody couldn’t possibly know anyone that might be able to help you in your business is wrong and it does you a great disservice.

I’ve heard some amazing stories about hugely valuable, highly legitimate referrals that came from people whom others had initially discounted as unlikely to know anyone that could help them.  I absolutely love hearing these stories because they’re amazing testaments to the power of networking.  What’s YOUR story??  If you have one, by all means, share it in the comments section after reading Hazel’s article below! 🙂

“Power of a Rolodex” by Hazel Walker

One of  the biggest challenges I have with business people is they underestimate the power of other people’s Rolodex.  It’s close-minded.  I hear this especially from the Business-to-Business people who walk into a networking group, look around and think, “I’m B2B (business to business) and high dollar and there’s nobody here who can help me!”  And they walk out.  What they have just done is discount everyone’s Rolodex.

They don’t know who I’m sitting with at PTA, or playing golf with.  They don’t know who my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law, or my friends are.  I see that happen more than anything when people discount who other people know.  It’s the same when they only get to know one side of the relationship.  They get to know the husband and everything about him, but have they asked where the wife works and who’s in her network?

There’s a tendency to just look at the person, a Mary Kay lady for example, and say “Yeah, she sells Mary Kay, she can’t help me.”  I had a banker in one of my networking chapters, a good member of the chapter who’s been in the group for a long time.  I sent a Mary Kay person to his chapter.  He called me up and was not happy.  He said, “I don’t know why you would send a Mary Kay person, we are doing business-to-business, Mary Kay is just not going to help us, blah, blah, blah . . .”  So I asked that he just give her a shot, you never know who she knows, and that he let her be in the chapter.

They let her in.  Shortly afterward, the banker sent me flowers thanking me for sending the Mary Kay associate who, in her first three months there, referred over $400,000 (USD) in business to him!  This was after he had discounted her based on the company she works for.  I think that is the biggest mistake business  people make: not getting to know people well enough to find out who they know.



“Money on the Table”–How to Generate More Referrals for Networking Partnersstring(93) "“Money on the Table”–How to Generate More Referrals for Networking Partners"

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GpIfb-ymqU[/tube]

If you’re not familiar with Power Teams or Contact Spheres, they are two things that any networker aiming for maximum networking results will want to get very familiar with.

I have just released a new book with my co-author, Lee Abraham, called Money on the Table which is all about how to use Power Teams and Contact Spheres to generate more referrals for your networking partners.  Why should you take the time to learn how to get more referrals for those in your network?  Because this will ultimately pay off in more referrals for you and maximum results for your networking efforts.

In this short video, Lee and I talk a little bit about our new book and why we wrote it and we also explain a simple, quick exercise that will get you on the road to making the most of your network and generating more referrals for you and your networking partners.  So, grab a sheet of paper and a pen before clicking the play button–there are six bullet points you’ll definitely want to jot down.

After you’ve watched the video and done the quick networking exercise, come back and leave us a comment about what you thought of it.  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

To purchase a copy of Money on the Table, CLICK HERE.

Michael Gerber’s Key to Business Growth: “Working on It”string(74) "Michael Gerber’s Key to Business Growth: “Working on It”"

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZInadxrKQ0[/tube]

In this video, my friend, The E-Myth author Michael Gerber, talks about his new website — www.WorkingOnIt.com — which is devoted to helping entrepreneurs grow business and achieve success.

I wanted to spread the news about this great educational resource because I am a firm believer in Michael’s strategies and philosophies for business growth.  I built my networking organization around some of the key philosophies that Michael wrote about in The E-Myth and I know that is a large part of why my business has grown globally into what it is today.

So, after you watch this short video clip, be sure to check out Michael’s new website and then, if you have a minute, please come back and leave a comment to let me know what you think.

PLEASE NOTE:  Although Michael’s new website, www.WorkingOnIt.com, makes mention of BNI and addresses “BNI friends,” the website and the educational information and offers it contains are open to absolutely everyone–including BusinessNetworking.com blog readers and the general public as a whole.

Recognizing ‘Innovativity’string(38) "Recognizing ‘Innovativity’"

This is the final guest blog in the three-part series featuring Frank DeRaffele’s article, “Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity.'” To read the beginning and the middle of the article, please CLICK HERE for Part 1 and CLICK HERE for Part 2.

“Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” by Frank J. DeRaffele Jr. ( . . . Continued)

Recognizing ‘Innovativity’

Innovation in our businesses is extremely important. New ideas help us to run our businesses more efficiently, market more effectively, sell with greater success, satisfy customers at higher levels and lead us to greater overall results–if we have a method to put them in place and the discipline to follow through with them.  Innovation gives us competitive advantage in many cases.  We just need to make sure we are not being deceived; we need to understand how to recognize the difference between Innovation and its evil twin, Creativity.

Quick steps to recognize  ‘Innovativity’ over Creativity in a great new idea:

1. Know what your current problem is and what you want as the end result in solving that problem.

2. Confirm that your new idea will help solve that problem DIRECTLY.  Don’t justify that it is a distant cause and effect relationship (e.g., “If I bring in a new target market they will buy more and I will increase my average dollar transaction.” — This simply justifies a non-direct creative idea).

3. It can be executed simply.  The best solutions usually are not complex.  Many times, the most complex problems have simple solutions.  As a Small Business Entrepreneur (SBE), it is rare that you have a complex problem.  It may be inconvenient, bad timing, a pain, or unexpected, but rarely so complex that it takes a complex solution.  Most very effective innovations are simple solutions.

My last words of advice on this topic: Don’t stop being creative!  Always be creative, just know how to use your creativity in the most effective and profitable manner.  Make your creativity spark your innovations so you may continue to build a very profitable and sustaining business.

This wraps up the final part of Frank’s article, “Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” and I hope you have all found it to be as enjoyable and beneficial as I found it to be.  Any comments you leave about the article, I’ll be sure to pass on to Frank so please don’t be shy–tell us what you think!

The ‘Profitability Ninja’ & The ‘Samurai of Innovation’string(84) "The ‘Profitability Ninja’ & The ‘Samurai of Innovation’"

Last week I posted the first part of a series of guest blogs sharing the article “Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” by Frank DeRaffele.  Below is the continuation of where the article left off last week.

“Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” by Frank J. DeRaffele Jr. ( . . . Continued — CLICK here to read Part 1)

So how do we save ourselves from this Ninja?  Enter the Samurai of Innovation. This Innovative Samurai (dressed in white, by the way) cuts through the creativity and reveals Innovative Thought, Innovative Ideas, Innovative Profitability.

Innovation is the good twin of creativity.  Innovation is creativity with focused and applied business value.  It knows how to see, analyze, evaluate, measure, and decide if this creative thought is able to become Business Innovation or if it will stay as Creative Waste.

As creativity is both a strength and a weakness to us as small business entrepreneurs, we must learn and develop the skill of how to take our creative thoughts and see if they can become innovative bottom line value.

A creative thought may be a wonderful idea but it has no direct relation to a solution.  Not that it is not of value, because it may have great value, but it may not be of value NOW.  When it is not of direct value, we open the gate for our Profitability Ninja to enter.  The question is, how do we define value? In its most simple form, we can answer this question by asking — Does this creative idea relate directly to a current problem that we have and will it help us solve the problem in the way we would like?

For example, let’s say you own a retail store.  You measure your success by the number of transactions you do on a daily basis and by the dollar volume of each transaction.  Currently you are very happy with the number of transactions but you would like to increase your average dollar per transaction.  Most customers that purchase from you spend an average of $55.00 (USD) per transaction.  You would really like to get that number up to $65.00 (USD) per transaction.  This means we need to look at up-selling, cross-selling, and the packaging of products.  As you start to think about this, you come across an idea of a great new way to do a direct mail piece to a new target market.  You know that if this new direct mail piece works, you will attract a new client base to your store.  This new client base is exciting because you haven’t focused on new target markets for quite a while and by expanding into . . . WAIT A MINUTE! What does this have to do with increasing your average dollar per transaction?!  The answer is . . . NOTHING.

What just happened here?  Yes, it was the Profitability Ninja. He snuck in and started you thinking down a new path.  He got you to come up with a great new idea and while getting excited about that idea, he made you forget that your real problem is Average $/Transaction . . . NOT Number of Transactions.  Do you see what I mean?  This new idea may not be a bad idea–in fact, it may be a good idea . . . however, it is not helping to solve the current problem at hand.  By not keeping your focus on Direct Resolutions to your problem, your profits will go into the red.

Come back next week to read the final installment of Franks article, “Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity,” and learn how to recognize ‘innovativity’ to maximize benefits from creativity and help your business soar. As always, if you have a comment to share, I’d love to read it so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity’string(41) "Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity’"

My friend Frank DeRaffele Jr., whom is also one of the co-authors of my upcoming book Business Networking and Sex, shared with me a great article he recently wrote called “Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” and I’d like to share it with all of you who read this blog.

Frank makes some very interesting points about the importance of balancing creativity and innovation in regard to small business and I think small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere will benefit from reading this article.  Since the article is quite lengthy, I’m going to divide it into a few different guest blogs so, if you like what you read in the remainder of this blog entry, be sure to stay tuned for the follow up guest blogs featuring Frank’s article.

“Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” by Frank J. DeRaffele Jr.

As Small Business Entrepreneurs (SBEs), one of our greatest strengths is our creativity.  Coming up with new ideas . . . ALL THE TIME.  However, one of our greatest weaknesses is our creativity.  Coming up with new ideas . . . ALL THE TIME.  For most of us, we have too many ideas, too often.  Oh, the paradox!  We tend to like the new idea, the new concept, the new Ah-ha!  The problem with this creativity and these great ideas is that we tend to be great out of the gate but lose power on the follow through.  I am not saying that we should not be creative.  I am not saying that creativity is a bad thing.  I AM saying that creativity can be a time stealer, distraction, justification, and crutch.

Ninja vs. Samurai

Most of us SBEs love the freedom that we have to come up with new ideas and then implement them as quickly or as slowly as we like.  We love the fact that if and when we get bored with this new idea or we feel it is not panning out as we hoped, we can just drop it and move on.  After all, we have no one to answer to.  “I can do what I want, when I want to, and no one can tell me otherwise” we think to ourselves.  This is true.  Very true.  In fact, TOO TRUE.  This freedom we have ends up becoming our Profitability Ninja.  This Ninja disguises himself as strength and confidence, happiness and joy.  Yet, behind his mask is the true assassin.  The Ninja who will kill our profits.  He begins to steal our profits and we don’t notice it.  We may not notice it for weeks, months, or years.  We mostly don’t notice it because either he is too close to us or we just refuse to see him.

This Ninja steals by keeping us focused on new projects that really haven’t been well thought out.  Investing time, energy, man hours, relationships, and money, with little to no return.  This is when the Dark Ninja turns into the Red Ninja.  We are metaphorically bleeding.  We are now going from profitability to loss (Black Ink to Red Ink).

So how do we save ourselves from this Ninja?  Enter the Samurai of Innovation . . .

Come back next week to read more of Frank’s article and learn about the “Samurai of Innovation.” In the meantime, if you have any comments to share about this first article installment, please feel free to share them here.

“Sales Success Now”string(31) "“Sales Success Now”"

My friend, sales expert Dr. Donna Ligda, has just released a new e-book called Sales Success Now which features 10-minute interviews with leading experts who spell out their single best sales strategy or tactic and explain how to easily implement it.

I’m interviewed in the book about how I’ve leveraged trusted relationships to open over 5,000 chapters of my organization worldwide and, because of my contribution to the book, Donna has offered to make a free copy of the book available to my blog readers!

To get your free copy of the book, simply send an e-mail to DonnaLigda@ComCast.Net requesting the free e-mail version of Sales Success Now which was mentioned on Dr. Ivan Misner’s blog.

The book includes interviews with:

  • Chris Lytle, President of Sparque, Inc.
  • Mike Bosworth, best-selling sales and marketing author
  • Keith Eades and Robert Kear, international marketing experts
  • and many more . . .

After you get your free copy by e-mailing a request to DonnaLigda@ComCast.Net, come back and let me know what you think of the book.  I think you’ll be impressed!

Do Men or Women Spend More Time Networking?string(43) "Do Men or Women Spend More Time Networking?"

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew6Wf9k7dKc[/tube]

Business Networking and Sex is the book that my co-authors (Hazel Walker and Frank DeRaffele) and I have coming out next January and in this short video, we talk about an interesting research finding that will  be published in the book.

There’s one specific question that we are asking BusinessNetworking.com blog readers to weigh in on and it’s this:

Which gender–men or women–do you think spends more time networking, and why is it you think that?

When you watch the video you’ll see that my co-authors each have definite opinions on this, to say the least.  I felt like I was watching a tennis match watching them banter back and forth but, one thing is for sure, I’m never bored around these two and they sure know how to get a lively conversation going!  Now, the three of us want to keep the conversation going and hear opinions from readers all over the globe, so please leave a comment here and let us know what you think!

Don’t Analyze What’s Wrong–Look for What’s Working!string(75) "Don’t Analyze What’s Wrong–Look for What’s Working!"

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eW_qfrJ_JI[/tube]

It’s a fact: change is not easy!

So, how do you keep business on the up and up amidst a constant onslaught of challenges that require you and your business to change and adapt?

Watch this short video for some powerful tips from my good friend and author of The Solutions Focus, Dr. Mark McKergow.

You’ll learn, like I have, that one of the most important things a business owner can do to strengthen and grow their business is to operate on a daily basis by focusing on solutions.  Mark always says that if a company focuses primarily on problem, they become an expert at problems–instead, they need to focus on solutions!

After you’ve watched the video, come back and leave a comment to let me know which of Mark’s tips was the most valuable for you.

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